Wheelie Accessible Adventures


Flying With Qantas

Brisbane To Hobart In A Wheelchair


We flew with Qantas from Brisbane to Hobart, with a stop over in Melbourne for our first trip to Tasmania. When booking the flight to Hobart I discovered a lot of the Qantas planes to Hobart were on the boeing 717s. I needed to ensure I didn’t book on the 717s as the cargo holds are too short to hold most wheelchairs on these planes, therefore I needed to book on a 737 as that plane can take my wheelchair with a slightly higher cargo hold. Please click here regarding wheelchair size  restrictions on Qantas planes.

Booking A Qantas Flight To Hobart

I always research the Qantas website for the appropriate flight before I ring up the Qantas booking line. I find its best to always give them the flight number along with the time to ensure the correct plane is booked. A number of times Qantas agents have booked me on the wrong flight to what I have asked for, so its always best to double check your ticket, and ring up straight away if there has been a mistake. Qantas has always corrected the mistakes without issue. 

When flying to Hobart I needed to bring my car ramp with me to get my wheelchair into our rental car as Tasmania had no wheelchair accessible cars available during our visit. Please click here for full review on Hobart car rental.

I contacted Qantas before hand via email to ensure it was ok to bring my portable ramp along with us. Qantas didn’t have an issue taking my ramp on the plane. They collected my ramp information and added it to my booking so the ramp could be checked in as over size luggage on the day. There was no extra luggage charge as it was classed as a mobility aid,  and we are allowed to carry 2 mobility aids with Qantas without charge, however we needed to ensure the ramp was in a carry case.

Qantas Stop Over In Melbourne With Wheelchair

 Everything went smoothly at Brisbane Airport for our stop over flight to Melbourne. On our arrival my wheelchair was brought up to me once all the passengers had left the plane like normal.

I had never did a stop over before, but all went fairly smoothly. I did learn though because we checked in in Brisbane the Melbourne Qantas team forgot we were flying to Hobart and didn’t have the information ready to carry the wheelchair when boarding the flight to Hobart. We were told that this happens often with wheelchair users on stop overs. On the way back we decided to recheck-in the wheelchair so it reminded them we were there and needed assistance. This seemed to have worked.

hobart qantas wheelchair
hobart qantas wheelchair access
hobart qantas wheelchair blog
Hobart Airport Wheelchair Access

They don’t have any aerobridges at Hobart Airport, so we had to use a ramp which took us out onto the open tarmac when leaving the plane. Normally my wheelchair is bought up to the plane door where mum just carries me to it. I don’t normally use the Qantas aisle wheelchairs as they are not designed to support me. This time my wheelchair wasn’t allowed to be brought to the door for me. I was told they could only bring the Qantas aisle wheelchair up the ramp and no personal wheelchairs are allowed on the ramp. I questioned the reason to why this was, but they were unable to answer.

Mum had to carry me down the very long ramp to the tarmac to where my wheelchair sat waiting for me. I wasn’t really impressed with their ramp process. Then to make things worst, as I was put into my wheelchair I discovered I had an extremely flat back tyre. The Qantas ground crew member who delivered my wheelchair to me didn’t seem to understand why a flat tyre was a major issue, and asked if I could still drive on it. I explained I couldn’t go anywhere until it was pumped up as it isn’t drive-able being dead flat like it was. It took the Qantas ground crew about 10 minutes to track down a pump and pump it up for me while we waited on the tarmac. I’m not sure why it went flat, It didn’t have a puncture and stayed up on the remainder of our trip. I am guessing the air pressure on the plane might of made it go down. Luckily it was an easy fix with Qantas’s help and we could continue on our Tasmania Adventure.

On our flight home mum had to still carry me all the way up the very long ramp on to the plane again at Hobart airport because of the “no personal wheelchair on ramp rule” Even though we were expecting it this time, we still found this unnecessary as there is a perfectly accessible ramp available I could use in my wheelchair to get to the plane door.

hobart airport wheelchair ramp access
Melbourne Stop Over Wheelchair Delay

When we arrived in Melbourne there was a delay in getting my wheelchair off the plane. The flight attendants were all lovely and apologised for the long delay. I was told the luggage crew were very busy which caused the delay to get my wheelchair off. The luggage crew manager requested they get me an aisle wheelchair to disembark the plane, but a very lovely luggage lady understood our situation and how an aisle wheelchair isn’t an option for us. She was a life saver and pushed the ground crew along to get my wheelchair out, she then bought my wheelchair up to me at my seat. If only all people were understanding and helpful like her it would make life so much easier for us with disabilities.

Qantas And Wheelchair Guests

I am a frequent Qantas flyer, and even though we still ran into a few hiccups during our Hobart flight, all worked out ok in the end. I have flown a number of times with Qantas and most times things go very smoothly. Hobart Airport was certainly more difficult because of it having no aerobridge to the plane. I believe aerobridges at airports are a much more accessible option for wheelchair users.

In my opinion I think Qantas are one of the leaders in aviation for customer care towards passengers with disabilities, nevertheless I still believe there is room for improvement in areas towards accommodating wheelchair passengers

In my opinion I give my overall Hobart flight 3 for wheelchair accessibility, and 4 stars for Customer Service .

wheelchair access rating 3

* I was not financially compensated for this review. The review is based on my own opinion and personal experience.*